15 Best things to do in Amadora (Portugal)

In the Lisbon metropolitan area, Amadora is a city just a metro ride from the Portuguese capital.

As locations go by, this is handy if you want to see fine royal palaces on the outskirts of Lisbon.

Queluz, Ajuda and Fronteira are at your fingertips, as are the stunning World Heritage Sites, the Tower of Belém and the Jeronimos Monastery.

Across the city is Lisbon’s Águas Livres Aqueduct, a massive 18th-century building that survived the catastrophic earthquake of 1755. You’re also here on the Metro’s Blue Line, which will keep you connected to Lisbon’s much-loved landmarks and neighborhoods for an hour.

Let’s explore the best things to do in Amadora:

1. Palácio Nacional e Jardins de Queluz

Palácio Nacional e Jardins de Queluz

Dating back to the second half of the 18th century, it is one of the last great Rococo palaces in Europe.

This is the summer resort of Dom Pedro in Bragança.

He later married his niece, Queen Maria I, as a princess. Designed by Portuguese architect Mateus Vicente de Oliveira and his French mentor Jean-Baptiste Robillon, the palace is breathtaking inside and out.

Some of the must-haves are the ceremonial facade of the Palais of Honor, the tiled panels of the Sala de Mangas, the ballroom, the ambassador’s room and the queen’s boudoir with its inlaid floors.

The rowing canal is seen on the ground and the walls are covered with glazing.

2. Águas Livres Aqueduct

Águas Livres Aqueduct

Passing through the area and extending for nearly 20 kilometers, is a remarkable feat of 18th century engineering that survived the 1755 earthquake.

It was built to address Lisbon’s chronic drinking water shortage, leading it from Canesas, north of Amadora, to the city.

It took about 20 years to complete, from 1731 to the 1750s, and is impressive in size.

The tallest arch, in the Alcantara Valley, reaches a height of 65 meters and has a Gothic-style spire.

You can also walk an aqueduct between Amoreiras and the Monsanto Forest.

3. Amadora International Comics Festival

Amadora International Comics Festival

The event is the largest in Portugal and promotes comics, animated films and illustrations.

Amadora BD has been growing since 1990 and is big enough to attract artists from all over the world.

During the two-week event, something will happen throughout Amadora, but the main event will take place in the 4,000-square-meter Fórum Luís de Camões.

There are seminars, debates, autograph sessions, film screenings and conferences.

Each year there is a featured writer, and in 2016 it was Porto writer Marco Mendes.

The festival is usually held in late October/early November.

4. Jeronimos Monastery

Jeronimos Monastery

One of Lisbon’s must-see attractions is located just minutes south of Amadora.

The UNESCO-listed Jeronimos Monastery was founded in the early 15th century, a period of optimism and wealth, with new discoveries in the New World and Asia.

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This sudden opulence was evident in the rich Late Gothic architecture, in a style so exuberant that it soon became known as Manuel.

If there’s one element that embodies this style, it’s the south gate of Santa Maria, filled with incredibly ornate sculptures around its tympanum, arches, and windows above.

You will be amazed by the vaults of the church and the two-storey cloisters in the monastery with nautical motifs.

5. Tower of Belém

belem tower

A World Heritage Site, this iconic defensive tower sits on an island in the Tagus River and is designed to defend the estuary to Lisbon’s harbour.

Dating back to 1515, it is remembered as a symbol of the Age of Navigation and the starting point for adventures that changed the world forever.

The building is a reference point in the highly decorative Manueline style, with its domes and Mellons incorporating influences of Moorish design and featuring images of exotic beasts in its stonework.

There are ornate loggias, as well as a cloister and a battery to admire.

On the south side of the cloister can be seen the statue of Nossa Senhora de Bom Successo, regarded by sailors as a symbol of protection.

6. Ajuda Palace

Ajuda Palace

The Portuguese royal family chose this palace as their final residence in the years before the monarchy was abolished.

The property is located on Ajuda Hill overlooking Lisbon and the Tagus River.

It was built in stages starting in 1795, but never actually completed.

The project suffered a number of interruptions, mainly due to political conflicts, due to the mix of styles that had been recruited for a long time by architects.

The interior is a sacred labyrinth of interconnected rooms and halls, each with a different theme and filled with decoration.

There is a Spanish tapestry room, music room, Chinese room, and the list goes on.

A highlight is the Throne Room on the second floor, which houses the thrones of King Louis and Queen Maria Pia.

7. Lisbon Zoo

Lisbon Zoo

Another big day in Lisbon is a few kilometers from the city.

The Lisbon Zoo has its origins in the 1880s and has been on the current site of Setrios since 1906. With 2,000 animals from 300 species here, if conservation is important to you, you can rest assured that the zoo is running 57 breeding programs.

There are Sumatran tigers, African elephants, giraffes, white rhinos and a forest where exotic birds like kookaburras fly freely.

You can also take your kids to the farm to make friends with domesticated animals, and there are seal and sea lion feeding shows.

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The park is equipped with a 20-minute panoramic gondola and mini train to help you get around.

8. Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

Calouste Gulbenkian is an interesting character. A British businessman of Armenian descent who helped open up the Middle East’s oil reserves to the West in the first decades of the 20th century.

By the time of his death, he was one of the richest men in the world and had amassed an almost immeasurable art collection.

And you are invited to visit it in this museum 15 minutes from Metro Amadora.

There are two tours, the first one comes from ancient art from Armenia, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome.

On the second tour, you’ll see a dizzying variety of paintings, sculptures and applied arts by Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Monet, Degas, Rodin and René Lalique.

9. Uptown

Uptown

It only takes you 25 minutes to reach Lisbon’s Bairro Alto, a sublime bohemian district full of lovely shops, restaurants and bars.

There is a youthful energy to the city, a bit sleepy during the day, but bustling at night, with people drinking and chatting on the terraces in the narrow streets, you can catch the melody of the live fado.

Due to the steep terrain of the area, each mode of transportation has its own characteristics.

Visit Tram 28, a remnant of Lisbon’s tram system that connects Bairro Alto with Chiado and Campo Ourique.

10. National Coach Museum

National Coach Museum

In the wonderful riding stables of the old Belém Palace, there is a museum dedicated to historic carriages.

The grounds alone are spectacular, with a 17m by 50m hall for horse riding demonstrations and a balcony on the first floor for viewing by royals.

The history of the coach fleet dates back to the 1500’s to the 1800’s.

They belong to the Portuguese royal family, but are made in European countries such as Austria, England, Spain, Italy and France.

These can be incredibly rich, and one outstanding piece is the baroque carriage used by Philip II of Portugal when he traveled from Spain in 1619.

11. Palace of the Marquis of Frontera

Palace of the Marquis of Frontera

Bordering the Monsanto Forest Park, our last palace dates back to 1671. It was a hunting lodge built for the Marquis of Frontera and is still inhabited today.

So to see the interior, you have to visit, but you won’t be disappointed with the Sala das Batalhas (with scenes from the Portuguese Restoration War), the restaurant (decorated with Dutch tiles) and the chapel, which is covered in the inauguration of the palace Fragments of glass and china after deliberately broken.

The garden itself is worth a visit because of its beautifully varnished panels depicting the seasons of the year and the bust of the Portuguese king.

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12. SL Benfica

SL Benfica

Football fans will be pleased to know that Amadora is adjacent to Lisbon’s Benfica area, the home of the legendary football team.

The club is the most successful in the country, winning 35 domestic league titles, two European Cups and boasting players such as Eusebio and Rui Costa.

The majestic Estádio da Luz stadium has been home since 2004, open to tours and museums, documenting the club’s 110-year history.

But nothing beats being in the game, and only the rest of the Big Three will sell out.

Before the game, you’ll get a spectacular view of Águia Vitória, with Benfica’s condor mascot flying over the pitch and landing on the club’s crest, cheering.

13. Dolce Vita Tejo

Dolce Vita Tejo

One of the largest shopping centers on the Iberian Peninsula is located in Amadora.

It’s as huge as you might imagine, with over 300 stores in a total area of ​​122,000 meters.

Along with the store are a cinema, gym and 34 restaurants.

The benefit of the mall’s sprawling footprint is the wide aisles that don’t feel crowded even on busy days.

Dolce Vita Tejo is ideal for a day of shopping, but you don’t want to venture into Lisbon city centre: international brands such as H&M, Desigual, Mango and Zara are here.

14. Kidzania

KidZania

Attached to the mall, this amusement park is a sort of indoor city where you can pick up (or drop off) your kids for a full day of organized fun.

They will get “jobs” such as police officers, veterinarians, firefighters, dentists, factory workers or doctors, and these jobs involve various activities for which they will earn currency.

Every once in a while, they can spend that money on entertainment and games.

To do certain jobs, they need a college degree and will make more money to play.

They’ll have an unforgettable time playing adults while learning about the value of money and how some real-life jobs work.

15. Necrópole de Carenque

Death Karenke

Amateur archaeologists can stop for an hour or two at this discreet but striking archaeological site in the city.

This is a mysterious place, discovered in the 1930s, with tombs dug out of limestone.

The building dates back to the end of the Neolithic period, some 6,000 years ago, and they found human remains inside the cave, including stone statues, utensils and decorative shale slabs.

This could be a good partner for the National Archaeological Museum near the Tower of Belém, as many of the artifacts from these tombs are on display there.

Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Amadora, Portugal
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